JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian National Police continued to uncover Jamaah Islamiyah’s (JI) activities in recent years, after its Detachment 88 (Densus 88) counterrorist unit raided a villa in the Central Java city of Semarang owned by the militant organization last weekend.
“We have discovered that JI used the villa as a training center for various activities. They include hand-to hand combat as well as fighting with sharp weapons such as knives and swords,” said Indonesian National Police spokesman Brigadier General Argo Yuwono on Monday, December 28.
“Based on our firsthand observations of the crime scene, JI militants at the villa in Semarang’s Ungaran district also taught the trainees bombmaking and how to set up ambushes.” He added that the house is one of a number of JI sites in Central Java.
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“We believe that JI has up to 12 training locations in Central Java.” Argo declined to say where the other JI training locations in the province are located, though he disclosed that a number are located in Semarang, the provincial capital.
Investigators believe that the JI used the two-story villa for its youth cadres as a training center to attack VVIP officials. Prior to Semarang, Densus 88 also uncovered another JI cell in the Sumatran provinces of Lampung, Riau, and elsewhere.
The unit arrested 23 suspected militants during the raids. JI has been held responsible for a number of attacks in such ASEAN countries as Indonesia and the Philippines.
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These included the 2002 Bali bombing which killed more than 200 people, an attack on the Australian Embassy in 2004, and the blasts at the Marriott Hotel in 2003 and 2009. The group has also been busy attacking targets in the Philippines.
The latter included blasts in the southern Philppine city of Jolo, which killed dozens of people and wounded hundreds of others.
(Writer: Irfan Kamil | Editor: Bayu Galih)
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